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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-09-18

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

18/09/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission denies any plans to make urban road pricing compulsory
  • [02] 65% de la population active de l'UE travaille dans le secteur des services
  • [03] High-level discussion in Tokyo on climate change
  • [04] Tobacco advertising : Padraig Flynn to receive Public Health award

  • [01] Commission denies any plans to make urban road pricing compulsory

    Following reports in the German media the European Commission today denied it had any plans whatsoever to make urban road pricing compulsory. Neil Kinnock, the Commissioner responsible for Transport Policy, said : "These stories are completely without foundation. It would be entirely inappropriate for the Commission even to suggest such an idea given that only the German authorities have the power to decide on such an issue."

    [02] 65% de la population active de l'UE travaille dans le secteur des services

    Le secteur des services occupe près de 97 millions de personnes dans l'Union européenne (UE), ce qui représente environ 65% du total de l'UE, souligne aujourd'hui le rapport établi par Eurostat, l'Office Statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Quatre Etats membres affichent des taux supérieurs à 70% : le Luxembourg (74,1%), les Pays-Bas (73,1%), la Suède (70,9%) et le Royaume-Uni (70,6%). La Grèce (56,8%) et le Portugal (56,5%) enregistrent les parts les plus faibles. Les données soulignent un changement dans la composition de la main-d'œuvre européenne ces trente dernières années puisque l'on est passé d'une économie industrielle à une économie de services. D'après les dernières données disponibles, la ventilation de l'emploi en Europe est la suivante : 5,1% dans l'agriculture, 29,8% dans l'industrie et 65,1% dans les services. A l'exception du Royaume-Uni, où les services fournis aux entreprises arrivent en tête, le commerce de détail est, en termes d'emploi, la principale activité dans tous les pays de l'UE. La seconde activité principale étant généralement les services fournis aux entreprises, c'est-à-dire les professions libérales, les activités d'architecture, la publicité, la sélection de personnel, les activités de nettoyage et autres services divers.

    [03] High-level discussion in Tokyo on climate change

    On 17 and 18 September, the European Commissioner for environment Ritt Bjerregaard together with the Austrian minister for the environment, Dr. Martin Bartenstein (as president of the Council) represented the European Union (EU) at the Ministerial meeting in Tokyo in preparation for COP4 in Buenos Aires in November. UK was represented by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and there were also participation from France, Italy and Germany. At the invitation of the Japanese Government 22 countries from the developing and the developed world as well as the European Commission participated in the meeting. The EU demonstrated its unity and was very active in keeping the process on climate change on the right track in order to maintain momentum and secure a successful and realistic outcome in Buenos Aires - including the adoption of an Action Plan with a timetable for further work to be done. All delegations were in general careful not to overstate differences and a clearer understanding on the various positions on a number of points was achieved.

    [04] Tobacco advertising : Padraig Flynn to receive Public Health award

    The European Respiratory Society at its bi-annual Conference in Geneva will tomorrow (19 September) present European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Padraig Flynn, with a special award in recognition of his efforts to promote public health. The conference which will be attended by 10,000 delegates, will hear the Society's President describe Mr Flynn's success in securing agreement on a Europe-wide ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship as the most positive development in public health protection in years. "Thousands of lives will ultimately be saved each year by this initiative," Professor Christos Roussos, the Society's President will say. Mr. Flynn in accepting the award, will speak of the need for Member States to face up to their responsibilities to reduce the incidence of smoking. "We have to confront the fact that smoking kills half a million citizens each year in the European Union. If we fail to take measures to reduce that figure, we are failing in our primary responsibility to citizens: protecting their health and well-being." With regard to further proposals to reduce smoking, the Commissioner said : "We must not be fooled by the propaganda of the tobacco industry that measures to reduce smoking are ineffective and unnecessarily restrictive. The fact is that the right measures can and are working to reduce tobacco-related deaths. If we swallow the industry's propaganda, we will miss the opportunity to further reduce these unnecessary deaths."

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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